Macy's On State in Chicago

Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Macy's On State in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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Macy's On State
Formerly:Marshall Field and Company

111 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60602
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Like most successful iconic retail enterprises, Marshall Field grew over time. Originating as a single store on the block it eventually grew and took over its neighboring buildings, knocking down walls and extending itself upward and outward. The result is discord hidden behind a seemingly uniform ground level facade. But casting an eye upwards reveals the uneven roof line, the ramparts of which delineate one era of construction and acquisition from the next. Inside it is less apparent thanks to the decor, but navigation is still occasionally painful as multiple and competing escalator wells provide, perhaps, too many options. Fortunately, the managers have recognized this problem and provide helpful malmanacs throughout the store to give the nervous herds of shoppers a bit of direction.

The original 1892 building was designed by Charles B. Atwood of the firm D.H. Burnham it is neo-Renaissance in style with Ionic columns flanking the main entrance. But the real show is inside where Corinthian columns lead the way to an atrium on the north side which is topped by a spectacular atrium from none other than Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany, himself, didn't build it -- a group of 50 artists worked under him for 18 months to make it possible. The dome covers 6,000 square feet and is the largest Tiffany mosaic in existence.

Over time, Marshall Field's would lose its chicago identity. First, being sold to the Dayton-Hudson company, which became the Target Corporation, and then being sold yet again to Macy's. Macy's was the first company willing to change the name of the store, and in doing so weathered a backlash from angry and sentimental customers. When they arrived int he mail, many cut up their replacement Macy's cards and sent them back. Many more vowed to never shop at Marsahll Field's. It remains to be seen if the vocal protests will be just angry voices or if the shoppers will actually back their words with actions.

Quick Facts
  • Construction finish: 1892
  • Designed by: Charles B. Atwood
  • Renovated: 1902
  • Renovated: 1906
  • Renovated: 1907
  • Renovated: 1914
  • Renovated: 1990 at a cost of $110 million
  • Type: Retail
  • Stories: 9
  • April 12, 1992: Fish are seen swimming in the basement of this building where normally people shop and eat. The basement was flooded in the Great Chicago Flood of 1992 -- a man-made disaster that flooded hundreds of buildings and did nearly a billion dollars in damage.
  • May 6, 2004 - The Marshall Field's building is given preliminary landmark designation by the city Landmarks commission.
  • November 1, 2005 - The City of Chicago bestowes landmark status on this building, amid fears that its new owner might make significant changes as it is converted to Macy's.
  • April 27, 2006 - The <i>Chicago Tribune</i
  • reports that Macy's will change the name of the store from Marshall Field's to Macy's At State Street. Macy's plans to replace the traditional green awnings with black ones and add its name to the top of the historic building. The newspaper also reports that Macy's plans to spend several million dollars renovating the store inside and out, including uncovering a previously hidden VIP elevator. The Marshal Field's archives will now become the property of the Chicago History Museum.
  • September 9, 2006 - Marshall Field's officially becomes Macy's On State Street.
Look For
    > The mosaic atrium dome by Louis Comfort Tiffany.<br> > The corner clocks -- Chicago landmarks for more than a century.
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Your Thoughts

There are three comments.

  I like seeing the views of Chicago's Loop and the Christmas Tree from the 8th Floor in there. The skylights are so impressive. The clock is interestingly detailed and the time needs to be fixed, my family and I were there at 7:45pm, but the clock said 9:40pm. The window displays were not as impressive this year as it was lat year.

Brent Kampert - Monday, December 15th, 2008 @ 7:33pm  

  The building is amazing! It's fun to get lost there!

Brian Davis - Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 @ 12:53pm  

  5 Outstanding architectural structure and pleased to learn of its landmark status. An historically important institution which should be honored for its commercial importance in Chicago's history. Known world wide for its quality of product and service.

Joan Kellogg - Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 @ 12:07am  


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